Jesus bagged His fair share of labels while He walked the planet. He was a phenomenon in His days. Not surprising, the Pharisees and the religious leaders of His time didn’t understand Him. They tried their hands at defining Him based on their interpretation of His controversial actions.
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”
~ Matthew 5:19
“They said to Jesus, ‘John’s disciples often fast and pray and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.’”
They labeled Him a glutton; Jesus was eating too much. There was only one time in the gospels they showed us He fasted. He dined and wined with tax collectors like Matthew and Zacchaeus. His disciples did not fast like others. The Pharisees simply came to the conclusion: this man must be a glutton.
They called Him a Samaritan because of His movements.
“The Jews answered Jesus, ‘Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?’”
At some point they told Him He was demon possessed. Jesus had said something that was way beyond their power of comprehension; and they simply concluded that He was demon possessed. Essentially, they were saying, ‘Normal people don’t talk like this.’
They called Him a non-entity. On a particular occasion, they referred to Jesus as an illegitimate child.
Now these are all reflections from different reflectors. But the beautiful thing about Jesus is that He never embraced those pictures. He never accepted the verdict of earthly reflectors. The point there is this: never ever accept the verdict of earthly reflectors irrespective of whether they are good or bad.
Jesus was called some good names like Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets and so on. Someone once said to me that I preach like a certain mighty man of God. As much as that sounded good to my flesh, I knew that if I wasn’t careful, I was going to lose my unique God-given identity because of that reflection.
So never accept the verdict of earthly reflectors; that’s what we learn from Jesus. All those labels meant nothing to Jesus. He knew who He was. He was sure of His identity. That should be the same with you.